Iran and Russia could find a very dangerous exchange of interests: in exchange for Tehran’s help in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moscow could assist the Iranians in increasing nuclear-military capabilities. Israel rides the issue with Westerners to isolate the Islamic Republic
According to Amichai Stein Of Khan News, a journalist well informed on what is happening in Jerusalem, Israeli intelligence and other officials these days are particularly insisting with Western colleagues on the risks of links between Russia and Iran. In the conversations, which take place in a particular way with the Americans (who give greater credit and heed to certain considerations of Israel) there is evidence and risk that Moscow could reciprocate, with assistance on the Iranian nuclear program, the help it is receiving from Tehran in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It is known that the Islamic Republic is supplying weapons of various kinds (especially drones, many of which built escaping the UN-US-EU sanction regime) to the campaign of Ukrainian conquest launched on February 24 by the Russian Federation. On Thursday, December 22, the Mossad chief publicly warned that “we are also warning about Iran’s future intentions to deepen and expand the supply of advanced weapons to Russia”, but the matter goes further. According to the information obtained by Stein, Moscow could help Tehran not only in assembling an atomic bomb, but also in obtaining the capability to launch one.
“It will take Iran 1-2 years to acquire the ability to install the bomb on a missile. Russia can help the Iranians shorten the time”. The theme is hyper-critical: Iran, a country submerged in popular protests against the management of the state by the leadership – protests that the regime has been trying to crack down for over three months – has been pursuing a nuclear program for some time. Tehran says it’s for civilian purposes only, Israel insists it’s a way to achieve nuclear deterrence and upset the Middle Eastern balance (which is also based on Israeli strategic ambiguity, which may be the only country to have that kind of weapon in its region). At stake is the process of recomposing the Jcpoa, relations with Tehran and ultimately its role in the world.
Russian officials say they are working to prevent Iran from obtaining the nuclear bomb, and this is the reason why they have always supported the JCPOA – the agreement born in 2015 with the endorsement of the UN Security Council, then wrecked for the US release in 2018, and now in a complex phase of revision. The attempt launched by the Biden administration to restore the agreement that froze the Iranian nuclear program is going very badly: because Iran has started (in retaliation for the American exit four years ago) an enrichment process that it has never stopped; why Tehran has always found pretexts to keep the negotiations deadlocked; why the Iranian regime is cracking down on protests in a brutal way and helping Russia in Ukraine.
While as he claims Matthias Serraof the Mena Desk of ISPI, “it is not clear what consequences the entry of certain personalities (linked to the other nationalist right, ed) to the government may have on relations between Israel and its international partners, the United States and the European Union primarily”, because this could also weigh on foreign policy choices, it is quite clear that on issues such as Iran, the direction of the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu it will remain on a historical track – also followed by its predecessors. For Israel, it is inconceivable that the Islamic Republic – the Jewish state’s existential rival – could obtain a weapon like the nuclear one, and it will do everything to avoid it.
The issue is seen as the top national security concern, followed by other forms of perceived and related threats to Iran (such as those from proxies regional groups of the Pasdaran, the various Shiite militias that move in the region united by ideological hatred against Israel and more generally against the West). After putting all kinds of pressure (for years) against the JCPOA, now Israel is playing the new Iran-Russia link card. The US and the EU reacted unitedly against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, considered an existential challenge to global stability. For the Israelis, using the strengthening friendship between Moscow and Tehran can serve to definitively bury any attempts at dialogue with the latter, as partners of the former. From here, launch other types of options, such as the military ones already on the table (which could also depend on some internal balances in the new executive).
The Netanyahu government was born by warning the US of the Russia-Iran link – Formiche.net